Indian Americans across the US have expressed solidarity to the families of the 40 CRPF troopers who lost their lives in the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, by holding candlelight vigils, peaceful protests and fundraisers. In Atlanta, Georgia, members of the Gujarat Samaj gathered at the Sardar Patel Bhavan in Tucker, where they held a candlelight vigil over the weekend. The event was organised as a mark of protest and to pay tributes to the victims, The American Bazaar reported on Monday.
Vigils are planned to take place this week also in Sacramento, the capital of California, and home to a large Indian American population. The Indian Association of Sacramento (IAS) will hold one on Tuesday at the Lakshmi Narayan Temple.
In Chicago, a peaceful protest is being planned for Thursday outside the Pakistan Consulate in the city. J.D. Diganvker, a community activist and organisers of the protest, said: "We are grieving for our slain soldiers... We want Pakistan to take strict action against the terrorists... The protest will be an absolutely peaceful one and we will be giving a memorandum to the Pakistani Consulate."
On Monday evening, a candlelight vigil was held at the city's Dan Shanower, while on Wednesday, protesters will gather at the Indian Consulate General office. Samir Kalra, Managing Director of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), a non-profit advocacy organisation, said on Monday: "While it's heartening to see that a wide swath of the international community is unequivocally condemning the attack, such statements of solidarity must be backed up by actions to eliminate terrorist groups who kill with impunity and destabilise the region."
The National Federation of Indian American Associations strongly condemned the attack, saying that "such an act of terrorism cannot and should not go without heavy punishments". Various fundraisers have been floated to help the victims' families across the US by Indian American individuals and groups.
(With inputs from agencies.)